Hi! I’m Meredith.
Welcome! I’m so thankful that you’re here. Here’s a bit about me, so we can get to know each other better…
I grew up in a suburb of Pittsburgh, as a minister’s kid who still currently attends the same church where my dad served for 25+ years. I’ve spent a lifetime learning from both personal experiences and those of others around me that life is a fragile, precious gift that can be taken at a moment, shared with reckless abandon, or hoarded in anxiety-racked fear. Growing up and hearing the typical Bible stories as a kid, but not really understanding how to connect the dots between those stories and the real-life stories around me and a living, loving, awe-inspiring God, oftentimes left me confused and hungry for answers.
It wasn’t until I attended Ligonier Camp and Conference Center for a week or two each summer and eventually as a counselor that the puzzle pieces started falling into place. As I started actually hearing faith stories of my counselors and testing my own faith through the adventure course elements, away from the safe bubble of Noah and Jonah stories – which seemed too fantastic to believe – God opened my eyes to a whole new, still almost unbelievable, yet so tangibly real side of Him that I had so longed to find. It was glorious and terrifying and absolutely one of the most incredible experiences of my life, especially when I began to understand God’s stronghold on my heart and life and His ability to use me in ways I never knew were possible.
His desire was to take my heart and break it into a million little pieces over a young child’s own heartbreak, to use my utter weakness to speak to her and to demonstrate His almost-unbelievable Love to not only one broken camper after another and to me, but to others around us. God’s Peace and Power and Love moved in, and although confusion sometimes returns with a vengeance in my faith journey, I remember how His strength took over my vulnerabilities, His voice whispered in my ear, His love filled my words when I could barely remember anything I spoke or did during one particular heart-crushing week at camp. Even now as I sit here crying over the memories, I can hear the questions asked by one little girl – What is Love? What does it feel like to be loved? What is God’s love really like? – and when this girl divulged her brutal childhood filled with violence and rage and death attempts on her life… There are no human words that can truly suffice, only the words given by the Father who loved that little girl more than anyone else in the world had loved her.
I’ve spent about 20 years in education-related or ministry-based fields – from leading VBS as a tween, teaching swim lessons and coaching littles on a swim team, working at a YMCA day camp and LCCC adventure camp, and leading a ministry of Bible study and worship teams at a juvenile delinquent center near Grove City College as a teen and college kid, and among umpteen other jobs and volunteer experiences throughout those times – I eventually found myself heading down God’s new path on my journey into teaching elementary education in public school districts in and near my hometown. I had always thought that going home to work was like selling out on what I thought I was supposed to do – which at the time seemed like teaching at the juvenile delinquent center where I’d led ministry teams – until God opened my eyes again to the incredible needs of the kids in my community. Basically in my backyard, up the hill from the church where my dad had ministered and where I currently attend. And the brokenness of those children – again God shattered my heart in a million pieces for them, time and time again. Yet, this time my hands were tied to do much more than listen and get Child Youth and Family Services sometimes, to try to reach their hearts without sharing God’s Love openly but differently, and to do so while cramming as much academic information into them as possible so that their parents would complain loudly and so the school district could perform well on their state tests… because loving the child first, and all of his or her needs – academic or not – should have been the first priority and not the last.
After four years, I left teaching public school and moved into a couple of Christian Education Director positions at different churches over the next few years, including the one where we attend. Leading cradle-to-grave ministries and organizing events for church kids and community kids was kind of like being able to reach the kids I’d longed to help in the schools in fun, caring ways that could comfort their burned-out souls. And even still, God had different plans in mind, and, while I was working at the first church, He gave me a dream several times that I was standing on the edge of a cliff but couldn’t see the bottom of the chasm, and a voice was telling me to jump – that God would catch me, if only I would jump. So I did – and jumped out of the job into the unknown.
Along the way, I had met my (now) husband of going on 9 years, having dated throughout my teaching career for 3 years. Incredibly, in the midst of the turmoil in both the classrooms and in my personal life at the time, God provided a most wonderful, steady man who showed me what could have been, should be, and still can be. Thankful, grateful, humbled, I married him through God’s almighty grace and in His great love. What a ride Husband and I have had, but I absolutely wouldn’t be on it with anyone else. We live in a hundred-plus year-old Craftsman home on three acres in the same suburb, with veggie gardens and berry patches, perennial flower beds and a starter fruit orchard, next door to many husband-relatives.
And that dream about jumping off the cliff’s edge into the unknown? A month after my job at the first church ended, and after nine months of tests and doubting we could ever have children, on our one-year wedding anniversary, we learned that I was pregnant. God’s voice had been right – He did catch me after my cliff jump of faith – in a way neither Husband nor I would ever have predicted or thought possible. Now our three sweet little girls are growing faster than I want to realize, with less than four years between oldest and youngest. We have an aging doggy whose chocolate-brown eyes got her rescued from a shelter, a dwarf hamster who is delightfully simple and un-needy, and a bunch of fish that either have babies or don’t survive my beginner-fish-parenting skills. I’m homeschooling our little group of girlies – again, another path God has led us down, and one I never would have ever imagined us doing. Yes, my cup runneth over with busy-ness and gratitude and home improvement projects. And life is good, so good. Even when it’s not great, it’s so very good.
And here we are, heading in even still a new direction – this site and blog for one. As God is speaking to me and to Husband now about coming to another cliff’s edge and whispering for us to jump off and trust Him that He will catch us… We wait with nervous excitement and hopeful anticipation for what God’s unpredictable response might be for our family. Thanks be to God and all of His plans for our continued faith journey.
Cast of Characters:
Husband – amazingly strong, steady man who puts up with me, thank the Lord
Cottontail – our oldest girl
Flopsy – our middlest girl
Mopsy – our littlest girl
My Mission & Vision
My experience in various educational fields has developed a strong desire to serve the under-served populations anywhere, so that sowing seeds of hope in these individuals will begin to grow up those individuals and inspire them to positively impact their own lives and the lives of those around them. My prayer is that through educating my own children and other adults and kids to be sensitive to these needs, to think creatively to address the impact of these needs, and to actually be His hands and feet in serving and ministering those in need, we may begin to share with and be a voice for those who haven’t had one.